UN chief says World off-track to meet SDGs by 2023

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the world is “woefully off track” to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 deadline.

Guterres, who spoke at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at UN headquarters on Monday said ambition, urgency and solidarity had been lacking in the implementation of the SDGs.

He said this as ministers and policy makers gathered in New York to examine how countries can get back on track and make the transformative development agenda a reality.

The UN top official said that while solidarity had been lacking to overcome the myriad challenges, many countries were now staring into “a financial abyss”, strangling the resources needed to realise the agenda.

“The annual SDG funding gap has risen from $2.5 trillion before the pandemic to an estimated $4.2 trillion.

“Governments are drowning in debt – with developing countries facing sky-high borrowing costs. And 52 nations are in default or close to it – with no effective system of debt relief in sight,” he said.

Guterres called on countries to make 2023 count and to lay the foundations now for coordinated efforts to get the SDGs on track, referring to key meetings on food security, climate action, health, and sustainable development later this year.

He urged them to come to the SDG Summit, in September, with clear plans and pledges to strengthen action in their countries to 2030.

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